CREAT3D 3D printing tips: printing with colorFabb filament
Wednesday, 1 March 2017 | Jon Brydges
3D printing with colorFabb nGen, HT and XT materials
With plastic extrusion (FFF/FDM) desktop 3D printers, the wealth of materials available for 3D printing is sometimes bewildering and growing by the day!
colorFabb, a leading manufacturer of 3D printing filaments has specifically developed a range of co-polyester materials with Eastman Chemical Company, to offer different functionalities and characteristics:
We find these materials particularly well suited to our clients for engineering applications, due to the materials’ qualities, consistency and dimensional stability.
Read on to find out what these materials are all about and their differences.
What are colorFabb co-polyesters?
colorFabb teamed up with Eastman Chemical Company to develop a range of materials specifically designed for 3D printing, that deliver a range of qualities. These co-polyesters sit alongside colorFabb’s core filament of PLA / PHA (a PLA enhanced with PHA, Polyhydroxyalkanoate, that makes the material less brittle and improves layer adhesion).
In this blog, we focus on 3 types of colorFabb co-polyester filaments: nGen, XT and HT.
colorFabb XT is made with Eastman Amphora™ AM1800 3D polymer. It is low-odour, styrene-free and BPA (Bisphenol A) free. It is high strength and high toughness, has a high TG/improved temperature resistance over PLA and is FDA food contact compliant.
colorFabb nGen filament is made with Eastman Amphora™ AM3300 3D polymer. It is a low-odour, styrene-free high quality 3D printing material. The chemical make-up of AM3300 also makes the material less sensitive to moisture, potentially better for outdoor uses. colorFabb nGen has good flow properties, a low processing temperature, good bridging capabilities and a higher glass transition temperature of 85°C.
colorFabb HT filament is made with Eastman Amphora™ HT5300 3D polymer. It is a low-odour, styrene-free high quality 3D printing material. With a glass transition temperature of 100°C, colorFabb HT has a high temperature resistance, as well as excellent overhang ability, toughness and chemical resistance.
3D printing material comparison at a glance
Below is short comparison of key properties of colorFabb nGen, XT and HT.
In our experience, this is how we would use the different colorFabb materials in various applications:
General prototyping / model development: nGen
More functional prototyping: XT or HT
Parts for high temperature environments: HT
3D printing with colorFabb polyesters
nGen is our “go-to” material. It has excellent properties and uses print settings similar to PLA or PLA/PHA. It it best used with a heated bed and produces a good finish.
XT and HT require more advanced settings that need fine-tuning prior to and during printing, for example bed temperature, fan speed and flow rates, so the materials are best suited to more advanced users.
Below is a summary of suggested printing guidelines for the materials. Remember these are not set in stone, and will vary depending on your printer, set-up and environment in which you print.
For more info, check out our 3D printing tips blog on printing in colorFabb HT
And don’t forget to check out colorFabb’s tutorials on printing with the different materials at colorFabb Learn.
View full suite of colorFabb materials available at CREAT3D.
Best advice: right material for the right job
With so many variations of materials, different types of printers and even different types of 3D printing technology, there is no one size fits all solution. It all comes down to what you are trying to achieve, and that’s the best place to start with your decision in selecting the right material. You should analyse the particular properties you need from a print, and then look for the most relevant material, which will then determine the relevant printer type (or event print technology).
If you are looking for advice on which printer is going to deliver the best results for your needs, then contact the CREAT3D team and we can talk you through the options.
HT example print image provided by colorFabb. Design by Wouter Wolfs en Dennis van Bergen van der Grijp